A Dark and Beautiful Ambient Dream Pop Collaboration in GALÁN VOGT’s “Starseed”

Exploring themes of patience and surrender, GALÁN/VOGT, a collaboration between Spanish ambient/experimental composer Pepo Galán and Australian dream-pop singer Karen Vogt weaves elements of dark ambient, dream pop, shoegaze, experimental, drone, and neo-classical music with the beautiful, haunting single, Starseed. This is the latest single from their debut album, The Sweet Wait.

Pepo Galána composer born in Málaga, Spain, creates elegant, textural soundscapes infused with beauty and sensitivity. Karen Vogt (Heligoland) is an Australian singer/musician based in Paris, France. Vogt penned lyrics to the track, taking inspiration from Galán’s music, to write about shadow and light.

I literally felt like there was a shadow inside the music that was growing bigger and threatening to engulf everything,” she explains. “Similar to the way a shadow grows bigger as it gets closer to you. She added that the handclaps were effective in illustrating that moment of awakening.

The duo brought vocalist Jolanda Moletta on board to perform on vox. Her warm, deep voice, channeling a Lynchian chanteuse aura, brings multiple layers to the song.

“I perceived a transformative mood, something that goes from a darker to a lighter state of mind,” Moletta explains. “…The whispering parts in the first section of the song were inspired by Karen. She told me “Try whatever you please, from harmony to spoken word”, so I tried spoken word, louder and softer, until I found something that felt right.”

“The two main ideas in this song are about keeping hope alive,” says Vogt. “Don’t hold onto that hope too tightly, or you will extinguish it. I wanted to…focus on the moment of surrender when you loosen your grip and accept that you can’t control any outcome. It’s this delicate balance of hope, acceptance and seeing the shadows and the light at the same time. We respond to these unseen things in our own way.”

The accompanying video imagines a shadow taking a journey through the night, moving through the woods and across the sky while looking for the origin of her darkness. In the end, she realizes she’s made of stars and that no shadow can exist without light. It illustrates simple, cosmic, and universal truth.

Watch the video for “Starseed” below:

American composer Akira Rabelais contributed works to the album on the tracks “Panacea” and “Above The Aether”. Other guests on the album include Mark Beazley (bass), Simon McCorry (cello) and Achim Färber (drums). The album artwork features 2 intriguing photographs by French photographer Aurélie Scouarnec, who is known for beautifully capturing darkness and shadows in her work. She depicts the sacred and considers what is hidden to be as important as what is revealed.

Stream “Starseed” below:

GALÁN / VOGT’s The Sweet Wait is out on November 12, 2021.

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Alice Teeple

Alice Teeple is a photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. She is not in Tin Machine.

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